1. What Are Vein Screenings?
Vein screenings are services offered by Vein Center of Florida that take you through the standard consultation process where potential venous disease can be discovered. There are several different conditions that can be caused by poor venous health, so having your venous system checked by a professional can be a great way to get ahead of problematic situations.
If you want to draw an easy comparison, you can almost look at it like you would look at bloodwork. By taking a blood sample (or assessing the venous system of your legs), we can get a good idea of how things are functioning and make adjustments and intervene when necessary. Without a good screening, discovering early diagnoses and effectively treating disease becomes more difficult.
2. Why Are They Important?
First and foremost, they allow your medical professional the ability to evaluate and understand whatever venous related leg symptoms or signs you may have. It also may enable them to let you know if the symptoms you are feeling are not likely to be caused by poor venous health. Either way, it can help provide clarity to your individual situation.
If it is not likely that your condition is venous related, we can often point you in the right direction to someone who can help. Sometimes that can be a direct specialist, or sometimes it is a general practicing physician who can give you a more concise referral.
3. What Is at Risk If I Never Have a Vein Screening?
If you choose to ignore venous related symptoms or risk never having any screening done, then the likelihood of you developing more advanced venous disease increases. If you are healthy and without any side effects or symptoms affecting your lifestyle, then you might feel that you do not need to worry about it. But venous disease is common and something as simple as a family history can may it more likely that venous issues will progress.
Generalized Statistics demonstrated in some studies:
- Up to 40% of people in the United States have chronic venous insufficiency, the underlying cause of varicose veins and spider veins.
- Between 30 – 60% of all adults describe varicose or spider veins.
- Up to1% of the United States population (more than 3 million people) have venous ulcers.
4. When Should I Have a Screening?
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should consider having vein screening as soon as possible:
- Leg pain
- Tired / Heavy legs
- Chronic leg swelling
- Aching / Throbbing legs
- Restless legs
- Dry leg skin
- Leg tenderness
While most venous symptoms are chronic and may not be immediately harmful, they can be painful, embarrassing, uncomfortable and frustrating. Save yourself the trouble of dealing with them for longer than necessary by having a proper screening to see what kind of treatment can help you.
5. Do I Need a Screening Before Treatment?
We will always choose to do a thorough screening of your symptoms and associated signs and often will proceed with imaging before conducting any treatments at our office. This prevents us from making assumptions about your condition and ensures that you are getting the necessary treatment that will be beneficial to your individual circumstance. It helps us to focus on the problem at hand.
The body is often connected in ways we don’t fully see right away, and conducting thorough vein screenings is a good way to make sure that what seems like a harmless cosmetic condition isn’t something that would require a more involved venous treatment.
6. What Causes Venous Insufficiency?
There are many different causes contributing to venous insufficiency including: age, gender, genetics, job, lifestyle, obesity and pregnancy.
Age — Once you hit the age of 50, you have about a 50% chance of being part of the group that experiences some type of venous disease. This is because our bodies go through natural degradation, including the strength of our veins. When that happens, the likelihood of a vein becoming too weak to function properly becomes much more likely. So getting older, regardless of what other factors exist, increases the chance of venous insufficiency and developing varicose veins.
Gender — Some studies demonstrate an approximately 10 percent gender differentiation when it comes to venous disease. Women have a 55% chance of developing venous insufficiency versus a 45% chance for men. Other estimates describe women as being almost three times more likely to develop venous disease. This may have to do with hormone levels, which can weaken the walls and valves of the veins.
Genetics — Research and medical practice has shown that someone is much more likely to develop varicose veins if their parents or grandparents also had the condition. There appears to be a very strong genetic association between the two, but that does not mean that anyone is guaranteed a free pass either way. A child whose parents had varicose veins may never develop the condition, whereas a different child whose parents did not have varicose veins can easily develop them.
Job — Varicose veins arise from poorly functioning vein valves and thus inefficient veins.
The pressure in these veins changes significantly depending on your position and whether you are sitting or standing. It is possible to exacerbate and propagate venous insufficiency through a job that requires you to sit or stand for prolonged periods of time.
Lifestyle — Choosing to take certain unprescribed medications or smoking can negatively affect your circulation, which can increase the risk of blood pooling and venous insufficiency. Make sure you are choosing to live an active and balanced lifestyle if you would like to maximize your venous health.
Obesity — Excess weight can create additional pressure on the veins in the legs, making it easier for the veins to fail in their function. When this occurs, the pressure creates an environment in which the veins themselves are more likely to fail. Making sure you are in a healthy weight range (or BMI if it is accurate for your specific background) is a good way to reduce potential venous complications.
Pregnancy —Women who are pregnant have fluctuating hormones and usually experience a significant weight gain — both factors that can contribute greatly to the development of venous insufficiency.
While these are all risk factors that should prompt you to consider vein screening, they are not verdicts. Someone can have any combination of these specifics and still not have significant venous insufficiency.
7. Who Should Perform My Screening?
Your vein screening should always be performed by trusted professionals like those at Vein Center of Florida. Some doctors are willing and comfortable in treating venous conditions of different severities, while others are not. Therefore it is a good idea to go to a highly experienced, credible, respectable physician, maybe even a pioneer in the vein industry, like Dr. Jimenez, or Dr. J as his patients call him. If you are ready to meet with our team or if you would like to learn more, give our office a call or fill out our online contact form to have an email sent back to you at a more convenient time.